It was a study in contrasts when the two best teams in Zone B, Sports Hostel, Bangalore and Rising Stars, Mysore went head to head on Day 6. Both teams had already qualified for the knockout rounds, but the outcome of this match was important as the winner would avoid facing Indiranagar Basketball Club (IBBC) in the semi-finals. IBBC (5-0) has been the most dominant team in the tournament so far.
Sports Hostel, Bangalore, is like a basketball factory, frequently churning out top quality players who have gone on to represent Karnataka with distinction (case in point being Karnataka Captain Srinivas Naik). Their current squad continues this happy trend. Featuring a lengthy line up of 16 young men, all of whom were impeccably attired in red jerseys and black Adidas sweatshirts, the players looked like carbon copies of one another— most of them around 6ft 2 inches, with 2% body fat. Facing them, were the Rising Stars from Mysore, a motley bunch of players who had quietly matched Sports Hostel’s 4-0 record in the league stages.
If Sports Hostel contains players that can’t be easily distinguished from one another, then Rising Stars, Mysore, is the complete opposite, with each person on the team distinctive in their appearance and style of play. Their lynchpin has undoubtedly been Supradeep, an all round scorer, who has been averaging close to 25 ppg coming into this game. Today, though, Supradeep was unable to find his rhythm, and SH increased their lead with every passing minute. Curiously, Rising Stars decided to play a very up-tempo game in the second half, resorting to unnecessary full court lob passes that were intercepted easily by the athletic SH players. End Result? SH won easily 65-38. As Zone B toppers, they will now play the formidable Jayanagar Sports Club (JSC) in the first semi-finals. Rising Stars will have their work cut out when they take on Indiranagar Basketball Club (IBBC) in semi-final 2.
In other matches, Southern Blues sleepwalked to a win over SAI, Dharwad. Kanaka, Kolar withstood the transition onslaught from the young and speedy VBC, Mandya to attain a consolation 46-42 victory on the final day of league matches.
Results for Matches played at Kanteerava Courts on Day 6, Tuesday, 9-7-2013:
- Sports Hostel, Bangalore 65 (Gagan 13, Mufeez 12) bt Rising Stars, Mysore 38 (Naveen 19) HT 30-23.
- Southern Blues 48 (Amith 19) bt Sports Authority of India (SAI), Dharwad 20 (Chetan 10) HT 25-9.
- Kanaka, Kolar 46 (Harshith 14, Guruprasad 13) bt VBC, Mandya 42 (Shamanth, 19 Priyank 14) HT 20-19
Semi-Finals Schedule for Day 7, Wednesday, 10-7-2013:
Court No. 1
Sports Hostel, Bangalore v. Jayanagar Sports Club (JSC); 3:00 pm onwards
Court No. 2
Indiranagar Basketball Club (IBBC) v. Rising Stars, Mysore; 3:00 pm onwards